D&D 5E Doctors & Daleks - Cubicle 7 Brings Doctor Who to D&D 5E

Cubicle 7 -- makers of the official Doctor Who roleplaying game -- has announced that the Doctor will officially be coming to 5E soon under the name Doctors and Daleks. There are no dates or details yet, over than that the Doctors and Daleks Player's Guide will launch 'soon'.

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A NEW COMPANION FOR YOUR ADVENTURES THROUGH ALL OF SPACE AND TIME!

The wild adventures of everyone’s favourite Time Lord comes to the world’s most popular roleplaying game in Doctors and Daleks. Take your gaming group into the TARDIS and travel anywhere, anywhen. Want to meet Leornado da Vinci? Or see what life is like in the year 3,000? What about another planet entirely? All of space and time is your Venusian macro-oyster, but keep your wits about you — there’s a lot of danger in the vastness of eternity.

We are delighted to announce that we are working on Doctors and Daleks – a new line of products that brings Doctor Who adventures to your table using 5th Edition rules! The first release – The Doctors and Daleks Player’s Guide will launch soon.

The wild adventures of everyone’s favourite Time Lord comes to the world’s most popular roleplaying game in Doctors and Daleks. Take your gaming group into the TARDIS and travel anywhere, anywhen.

We’ll also continue to support the new Second Edition of our award winning Doctor Who: The Roleplaying Game, with a host of new products on the way soon!
 
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Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
Yeah, I mean, in theory, as long as you avoid using the protected terms in the GSL you could make an OGL version of 4e couldn't you? Game mechanics aren't protect by IP law, so as long as you state the mechanics in a unique fashion from 4e and avoid the product identity stuff, you should be good?
It sounds like it would be possible. I haven’t looked closely. But you’d have to be very careful and rename and rewrite an awful lot of material. It would be a heck of a task and easy to screw up.
 

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Voadam

Legend
The GSL is a terminable restrictive license to use certain 4e references. It includes terms not to convert to OGC (which would include 5e OGC) stuff that you have used the GSL for and to abandon publishing OGC versions of stuff you convert to the GSL.

The GSL by itself if not used is not an impediment to anybody doing stuff for 4e.

The lack of an OGC srd for 4e killed off 4e support more than the GSL. The safe harbor of the OGL and SRDs for 3e and 5e stuff allowed tons of 3rd party OGL support.

It would take a lot of effort to OGL retroclone 4e without using the phrasing from 4e but still be recognizable as 4e.

That work was done for OSRIC (1e) and Swords & Wizardry (0e) and Labyrinth Lord and Old-School Essentials (B/X) and was heavily adopted and used.

The most I have seen have been small 4e retroclone efforts that have not really taken off.
 

Yaarel

Mind Mage
I'm not sure I follow that logic. If non-casters stop scaling, but casters go epic, why does that mean the game is epic? We haven't done anything to make non-casters epic.
Moreorless, the noncasters receive "epic boons", albeit these might calibrate according to tier. Players who want mythic warriors / superheros can choose the appropriate boon. Players who want more this-worldly warriors can choose less flashy boons.

I just think it's redundant with Rary's telepathic bond (5th).
Heh, I think Telepathy is redundant with races and class features that have it at level 1.

Telepathic communication might even be an Insight skill check for a ritual.

There are so many spells that just boggle my mind for why they exist. Speak with dead? Zone of truth? Find the path? True seeing (for an hour without concentration)? Knock? If this is a game about going on adventures and telling stories and overcoming challenges, what kind of stories are you going to tell with these effects if you can overcome so many standard narrative obstacles with spells? It's just weird. It's like they're a walking deus ex machina. "I just cast a spell that unloads Chekhov's gun."
Mind Blank is horrible. A single spell that destroys two player character concepts: enchanter and illusionist. It literally breaks the game, broken.

True Sight is almost as bad.


It feels like they just dumped in all the spells that people remember without thinking what role that spell was supposed to play in the game. Especially compared to how PCs that don't have those effects have to overcome them. When you get to 7th and higher level spells, it's really clear that at no point did make these pretty simple design considerations.
That is exactly what happened. In the playtest phase before 5e, a survey asked which D&D spells felt iconic. The ones that received a high rating were mostly transplanted into 5e with little or no design consideration. Albeit, the designers did nerf certain spells that were notorious in earlier editions.

But absurdly high level spells, like Legend Lore ended up in 5e, despite that skills now exist andthe History dkill check makes the spell redundant.



Sure, but the trouble with that is that it's 100% up to the DM. The PCs -- all PCs above some arbitrary level -- need to be able to have enough control to be able to traverse the planes at the player's choice, not just because the DM decides the story should go that way. But the way the game is written, you must have a wizard or cleric to do that. If a party of fighters wants to find a long dead monarch, they have travel to the afterlife to talk to them. But a wizard or a cleric makes that even easier, too.

I'm not saying that wizards and clerics can't have spells that do things fighters can't. But if the game can be about travelling the planes -- and I think that at high level it should be -- then the game shouldn't de facto require certain classes to accomplish that and should otherwise be DM fiat. If a high level fighter wants to rescue his true love from the pits of Gehenna, then it shouldn't be orders of magnitude more complicated for them to do it than a spellcaster. And the solution shouldn't be "find a spellcaster".
If Planeshift is a ritual that requires a skill check, then noncasters can perform Planeshift.
 

Voadam

Legend
Even though Doctors & Daleks will be OGL, as a licensed project I expect most everything except a few mechanics and nondescriptive stat blocks to be Product Identity.
 


Tales and Chronicles

Jewel of the North, formerly know as vincegetorix
I'd be very leery of publishing anything 4e related without consulting a lawyer because of the GSL. I've actually thought at times about using the 5e SRD to recreate 4e as much as can be possibly done, but I usually decide I'd rather work on my own 13th Age hacks than dive into trying to rebuild 4e. Especially given that first sentence where I'd want to talk to a lawyer if I wanted to sell anything even as a hobbyist because even though Wizards has no real interest in "protecting" the 4e rules anymore, the GSL is still just sitting there like a landmine waiting to go off.
At the table itself, its pretty doable to use 5e maths with the powers of 4e. I did give it a try with only the PHB 1-2-3 (minus botched classes like runepriest and seeker) options and no feats (feats in 4e were often too small and fiddly, too forgettable to my taste). Works pretty well.

If I was to do it again, I think I would patch the empty levels left by removing the feats by adding some ribbons and exploration/social features from the 5e classes to create some kind of Essentials+.

The only thing's really hurting is being back to Move action instead of the ''split your speed as you wish'' and the fighter being able to use ranged weapons competently.
 

Jer

Legend
Supporter
Yeah, I mean, in theory, as long as you avoid using the protected terms in the GSL you could make an OGL version of 4e couldn't you? Game mechanics aren't protect by IP law, so as long as you state the mechanics in a unique fashion from 4e and avoid the product identity stuff, you should be good?
Should be, but I think the existence of the GSL actually screws it up a bit. I'm not a lawyer so I might be way off on this, but when you're doing something like OSRIC to recreate a rule set that was never licensed out for people to use it feels like a legal gray area where the "game rules aren't copyrightable" argument is a strong one. Also retroclones using the OGL license to backfit their mechanics into a 1e/2e/BECMI/whatever framework are not only not subverting an existing license, they're playing within the parameters that Wizards laid out with the OGL on 3e. So they're still very much operating inside of that license so there's even less of a gray area there.

Whereas when you have something like 4e where there's a very public "open" license that you can use to publish your compatible products and you're choosing to not use it but instead create a clean room version of the game to use instead, that feels less like a legal gray area. You're actively trying to get around the license terms that you don't like and use license terms that are more preferential to you. Hence my desire to consult a lawyer before I sunk too much time into it.
 

Yaarel

Mind Mage
The Tardis itself is a magic item that has Teleportation with little or no risk, "Timeshift", and possibly Planeshift. These spells have a place in fantasy settings.
 


Jer

Legend
Supporter
At the table itself, its pretty doable to use 5e maths with the powers of 4e. I did give it a try with only the PHB 1-2-3 (minus botched classes like runepriest and seeker) options and no feats (feats in 4e were often too small and fiddly, too forgettable to my taste). Works pretty well.
yeah this is where my desire to tinker runs smack into my desire to create a 4e clone too. You start looking at things like 4e feats and think "they fixed this in 5e - recreating the 4e feat ecosystem is actually a bad idea" and my desire to create a faithful retroclone just ends. There are a few other things like that - I'd be falling into the same trap other retroclone designers end up in where you want to make 4.5e instead of faithfully recreating 4e.

(Though this thread has me pondering that maybe a 5e "Skills and Powers" approach might be a better idea. Take 4e ideas and build up a set of subclasses that use them. Reintroduce Paragon Paths and Epic Destinies under different names. Might be a better use of time at least - less likely to go off the deep end and produce something only I'd ever want.)
 

eyeheartawk

#1 Enworld Jerk™
There are a few other things like that - I'd be falling into the same trap other retroclone designers end up in where you want to make 4.5e instead of faithfully recreating 4e.
Yeah, that's kinda the thing. 4.5 E sort of already exists in the guise of 13th Age and some others. If you want new APs or 3PP sourcebooks that are 4e compatible that's a non-starter because of the poopy clauses in the GSL. That whole sort of ecosystem just simply won't exist unless Wizard's opens it up, which I doubt, or somebody makes an OSRIC type thing you can hang an ecosystem around.
 

Jer

Legend
Supporter
Yeah, the GSL was the reason that there was so little third party content, and I can't imagine anyone would want to rely on the Berne convention alone to publish a clone. That license did exactly what WotC intended it to do: build a wall around 4e.
And it really did what they wanted it to do - when 4e ended they were able to basically shut the edition down when it come to publishing. There was no real way to pull a Paizo and have a game ready for 4e players to slide right into promising the same gameplay experience.
 

Yaarel

Mind Mage
At the table itself, its pretty doable to use 5e maths with the powers of 4e. I did give it a try with only the PHB 1-2-3 (minus botched classes like runepriest and seeker) options and no feats (feats in 4e were often too small and fiddly, too forgettable to my taste). Works pretty well.

If I was to do it again, I think I would patch the empty levels left by removing the feats by adding some ribbons and exploration/social features from the 5e classes to create some kind of Essentials+.

The only thing's really hurting is being back to Move action instead of the ''split your speed as you wish'' and the fighter being able to use ranged weapons competently.
I am happy with the 5e-ish class structure where each proficiency bonus improvement forms a tier. Each tier has four levels. Each tier grants the following class features.


Level: Class Feature

1: archetype (subclass specialization)
2: base (base class general features)
3: noncombat
4: feat

5: archetype
6: base
7: noncombat
8: feat

9: archetype
10: base
11: noncombat
12: feat

...

17: archetype
18: base
19: noncombat (method of immortality)
20: feat (with DMs agreement epic boon)



Note, the archetype comes first at level 1 for every class. This is the central character concept. At level 2, the base class rounds out the special interest.

Also, this structure ensures that all classes are competent in noncombat challenges, and meaningful combat upgrades in every tier.
 
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GreyLord

Legend
A 4e retro clone would allow places like Roll20 to sell new core rules and such. Which I dint think they do? Can you buy 4e content on the various VTTs?

I started work on a 4e OGL clone a few years ago, but work halted on it as I got other items taking up my time (read, other writing opportunities that pay a LOT more than free).

It takes a lot of time and you have to be EXTREMELY careful with your wording. The problem is there are many things in 4e that mean a specific thing in the rules, those items CANNOT really be used as they are words with a specific meaning for a specific game, so all of that has to be reworked and renamed and reworded.

I may pick it back up in the future, but the cost to benefit ratio is REALLY far down the chain. I'd need a lot of enthusiasm to continue right now, and when I was working on it there just didn't seem to be all that many that were actually interested enough in it to keep me pursuing it.

I HAVE thought about coming up with a MUCH more SIMPLIFIED version of it, for 5e and as an OGL, but I think that's not what many are wanting. It would be easier to do and take less time (enough that I could probably do it on the side without it taking up so much time away from things that actually make money for me) to do that, but I'm not sure people would actually want something like that.

PS: I could probably easily make it somewhat compatible with 4e adventures and modules with the simplified system, it wouldn't be that hard, but I'd need to know people were actually interested in it to take it up again, and I just haven't gotten that type of encouragement.
 

Voadam

Legend
Should be, but I think the existence of the GSL actually screws it up a bit. I'm not a lawyer so I might be way off on this, but when you're doing something like OSRIC to recreate a rule set that was never licensed out for people to use it feels like a legal gray area where the "game rules aren't copyrightable" argument is a strong one. Also retroclones using the OGL license to backfit their mechanics into a 1e/2e/BECMI/whatever framework are not only not subverting an existing license, they're playing within the parameters that Wizards laid out with the OGL on 3e. So they're still very much operating inside of that license so there's even less of a gray area there.

Whereas when you have something like 4e where there's a very public "open" license that you can use to publish your compatible products and you're choosing to not use it but instead create a clean room version of the game to use instead, that feels less like a legal gray area. You're actively trying to get around the license terms that you don't like and use license terms that are more preferential to you. Hence my desire to consult a lawyer before I sunk too much time into it.
There is zero obligation to use the GSL. Subverting the intent of the GSL is irrelevant to other legal methods of publishing material. It is not a legal gray area.

Kenzer for instance made their 4e Kalamar setting book not using the GSL or any license. They are headed by an IP lawyer who knew what he was doing. They had made their Kalamar stuff in 2e without a license and they had successfully sued WotC for infringing on their IP which got them their 3e official D&D product license.

Early 4e Goodman Games Dungeon Crawl Classics modules were actually OGL.

It is just as within the OGL to use it to create a 4e retroclone as to create an OSR retroclone. You just have to comply with the OGL and put in the work to do it right not using any trademarks of copyrighted phrasing from 4e. It would be a lot of work, but the 4e GSL does not make it outside of what can be done with the OGL.

It would be similar to the OGL versions of the 3.5 Tome of Magic not-OGL Binders or True magic.
 

At the table itself, its pretty doable to use 5e maths with the powers of 4e. I did give it a try with only the PHB 1-2-3 (minus botched classes like runepriest and seeker) options and no feats (feats in 4e were often too small and fiddly, too forgettable to my taste). Works pretty well.

If I was to do it again, I think I would patch the empty levels left by removing the feats by adding some ribbons and exploration/social features from the 5e classes to create some kind of Essentials+.

The only thing's really hurting is being back to Move action instead of the ''split your speed as you wish'' and the fighter being able to use ranged weapons competently.

See, I don't think that would be a difficult bar to clear. All you need to do is define a new movement type. There's push, pull, slide, and shift. Add a new one: "divided movement". An action that grants divided movement can be made before or after any other action. If you have a power that gives you 6 squares of divided movement, you can move, use an action, then move again, use a bonus action, and then move yet again. You could even make it a rule that this is how movement that isn't a push, pull, slide, or shift works. Or even make it a benefit of how the walk action works.

Now, you would still be limited by a power with multiple attacks that you might have to make them all to targets in reach without moving, but that's a pretty small limitation.

Meanwhile, fixing the fighter's ranged weapon combat would be as easy as giving them more ranged powers, or giving their melee powers ranged options.
 

Jaeger

That someone better
In 3e and 5e both they've found that nobody plays the game at high level because it's (a) too hard to DM because of the spellcaster, and (b) not fun for non-primary spellcasters. 4e circumvented the issue and took levels 5 to 9 and spread them over 30 levels. I think it's well past time to just admit that high level casters don't fit in the game.

The real problem, is the spells above 6th level. From the PHB's 7th level spells:
...
The types of challenges the above spells are built to solve don't exist in the Monster Manual. They don't exist in any Monster Manual. And the characters that don't have access to those spells have no means of solving those kinds of problems.

I agree.

Yet you do have those who say "I run high level 5e games just fine!? What are you talking about?"

But IMHO - those are very gonzo, fight the gods, zany types of games I am not interested in.
 

Micah Sweet

Legend
I'm not sure I follow that logic. If non-casters stop scaling, but casters go epic, why does that mean the game is epic? We haven't done anything to make non-casters epic.



I just think it's redundant with Rary's telepathic bond (5th).



Glibness isn't much better than enhance ability (eagle's splendor). Not such that it demands it's own spell to overcome the limitations of enhance ability.



Word of Recall, Wind Walk, Tree Stride, Summon Steed, Transport via Plants, etc. There are so many spells already that enhance travel speeds. The game doesn't really benefit that much from a super power like Teleport existing.

There are so many spells that just boggle my mind for why they exist. Speak with dead? Zone of truth? Find the path? True seeing (for an hour without concentration)? Knock? If this is a game about going on adventures and telling stories and overcoming challenges, what kind of stories are you going to tell with these effects if you can overcome so many standard narrative obstacles with spells? It's just weird. It's like they're a walking deus ex machina. "I just cast a spell that unloads Chekhov's gun."

It feels like they just dumped in all the spells that people remember without thinking what role that spell was supposed to play in the game. Especially compared to how PCs that don't have those effects have to overcome them. When you get to 7th and higher level spells, it's really clear that at no point did make these pretty simple design considerations.



Sure, but the trouble with that is that it's 100% up to the DM. The PCs -- all PCs above some arbitrary level -- need to be able to have enough control to be able to traverse the planes at the player's choice, not just because the DM decides the story should go that way. But the way the game is written, you must have a wizard or cleric to do that. If a party of fighters wants to find a long dead monarch, they have travel to the afterlife to talk to them. But a wizard or a cleric makes that even easier, too.

I'm not saying that wizards and clerics can't have spells that do things fighters can't. But if the game can be about travelling the planes -- and I think that at high level it should be -- then the game shouldn't de facto require certain classes to accomplish that and should otherwise be DM fiat. If a high level fighter wants to rescue his true love from the pits of Gehenna, then it shouldn't be orders of magnitude more complicated for them to do it than a spellcaster. And the solution shouldn't be "find a spellcaster".
That's what magic items are for.
 

I agree.

Yet you do have those who say "I run high level 5e games just fine!? What are you talking about?"

But IMHO - those are very gonzo, fight the gods, zany types of games I am not interested in.

I believe the players and DMs that say that they run high level games and have no problems. I mean, there are people who unironically say they like Monopoly and 5 card straight poker, too.

I suspect they like that spellcasters dominate play. That's an element of the game that they're going for. They want the imbalanced nature of the game at high level. They like the verisimilitude that it brings. They have imagined a game world where high level spellcasters are absurdly potent, so they are happy with a game that fulfils that. That's perfectly fine.

I just don't think WotC's data is showing them that this segment of the game's player base is very large. Then again, it's hard to say if they game were more suitable for general play at high level that there would be any longer lasting games? All that can really be said is that if they leave the game as it is that it will continue to not be widely considered a playable segment of the game. We end up back at the self-fulfilling prophecy.
 


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